Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Daniel L. Thayer, Production Director, Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Daniel L. Thayer, Production Director, Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y

Article excerpt

Dan Thayer joined The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press as a mail sorter in 1974, the year it converted to offset. The move, he says, "was strictly luck -- I had absolutely no desire to get into [production]."

After rising through paste-up and typsesetting to production manager, in 1982 he moved to Brockton, Mass., where The Enterprise was slipping flexo units into letterpress.

In the 16 years since he left the Enterprise, Thayer helped Ottaway Newspapers' Press- Republican in Plattsburgh, N.Y., set up a safety committee, plan for emergency printing, and design guards for equipment.

"I had heard good things about Ottaway," Thayer says of his return north. Besides, he jokes, "I missed the miserable weather."

He also completed a roof replacement under budget; implemented safety procedures, training and testing; converted to computer-to-plate output; took over the ad-creation department; streamlined prepress; oversaw ad-tracking start-up and two editorial system upgrades; negotiated cost-cutting waste removal and purchase of four-color sheetfed printing equipment (for which he created a print shop in an old maintenance garage); and, says Publisher Robert W. Parks, helped "secure our largest commercial print web job."

An America East print quality judge for 10 years, Thayer satisfies not only readers, but also advertisers and commercial accounts with work run on his paper's Goss Urbanite. While sheetfed handles annual reports and college brochures, the Urbanite keeps attracting jobs that fill press windows. For that largest job, a weekly averaging 110 pages, "we had to scramble," he says, buying a quarterfolder and printing in two runs.

As for taking over ad creation, "I guess I convinced everyone who was a natural that they're production people," Thayer says. Convinced it will work if good relations with sales are maintained, he adds that because the staff understands production, "we save a lot of headaches."

On the mechanical side of this winner's category, the publisher credits him with regular maintenance on the 6:1 GMA SLS-1000 inserter, its recent upgrade with a new drive and an operating program to track errors and improve zoning, and annually exchanging two hoppers to extend the equipment's life. …

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